Don’t Forget This Important Task At The Start Of A New Year

Reset insurance benefits so Dentrix can accurately calculate patient and insurance portions.

Let’s talk about an important task that you should perform on January 1st (or on the 2nd if the office is closed for New Year’s Day).

Resetting patients’ insurance benefits in Dentrix allows the software to accurately calculate patient and insurance portions. This is also important so that treatment plans and balances due are calculated properly. At the beginning of the year, it’s important that Dentrix calculates the patient’s deductible into their patient portion and that it recognizes a patient has their entire insurance maximum available. This can be a valuable tool in presenting treatment plans to patients. They may be more likely to accept a treatment plan knowing that their dental insurance will pay a portion of the cost.

In order for the insurance benefits to calculate correctly in Dentrix, you must first make sure that you are assigning the benefit renewal month to insurance plans. In the patient’s Family File, double-click the Primary Dental Insurance block. Click the Insurance Data button and assign the benefit renewal month using the drop-down menu.

Assign the month that the patient’s insurance maximum and deductible renew. Many times, this will be January, but there are some plans that renew at the beginning of another month.

Now that you have the renewal month assigned to the insurance plan, you can reset insurance benefits for those plans. The process of resetting patient’s insurance benefits happens as a part of closing the month in Dentrix.

In the Ledger, click Close Month. One of the options under Recommended Tasks to Complete Month End is Reset Insurance Benefits for [the month following the month you are closing]. Check the box to include this task when you close the month.

You can also use the Task Scheduler to perform this task. In the Ledger, click Task Scheduler to open the Reports and Tasks Scheduler.  In the list of Available Tasks, scroll to find Reset Insurance Benefits.  I recommend that you run this on the first day of each month in order to accurately calculate patient’s insurance benefits. Resetting Insurance Benefits can be run manually at any time by right-clicking on Reset Insurance Benefits from the list of Available Tasks, then selecting Run Now. You can also add this task to your Monthly Queue and it will run automatically based on the parameters you set.

Updating patient’s insurance benefits is very important so that you can properly estimate patient’s insurance benefits and patient out-of-pocket expense. By resetting insurance benefits, you will reset the patient’s insurance maximum and deductible amounts in Dentrix. This is an especially important task on January 1st because many plans renew as of that date.

Keep your patient’s insurance information up to date and current in Dentrix by resetting patient’s insurance benefits. Doing this will help you to provide accurate treatment plans and account information.

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By Charlotte Skaggs
Certified Dentrix Trainer and The Dentrix Office Manager columnist

Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for over 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at